Not too late to finally mesh
GAINESVILLE — UF coach Mike White’s team enters 2020 sitting outside the top 25, missing too many open shots, giving up too many turnovers and not earning enough assists.
Things have not gone as expected for a team hoping to lean on an explosive offense.
The Gators’ top-10 recruiting class has not taken the college basketball world by storm either, leaving one of the nation’s popular picks in October for the Final Four searching for itself as SEC play tips off.
The preseason hype long has worn off, leaving White’s squad with a clean slate heading into Saturday’s visit from Alabama.
“[A] fresh start for all of us, really,” White said Friday. “Great opportunities night in [and] night out [against] some of the best teams in the country.
“[We’ll be seeing] great coaches, great players, great preparation, great crowds and arenas — it’s exciting.”
Roller coasters can be too. The Gators’ nonconference schedule certainly would qualify as a wild, at times nauseating, experience.
“It had ups and downs,” sophomore point guard Andrew Nembhard said. “Obviously we wanted to have a better record than we have right now, but it’s been a really good learning experience for us and I think it’ll only help us in our season.”
White now hopes to enjoy a smoother ride as the Gators (8-4) look to build their NCAA Tournament résumé.
UF is 2-4 against teams currently in the top 125 in the Ratings Percentage Index but will face eight in the next nine games. The Gators visit No. 130 South Carolina on Tuesday.
Ranked No. 61, Alabama offers the chance for another quality win, but it won’t come easy.
The Crimson Tide (7-5) recently have found their stride under first-year coach Nate Oats. The 45-year-old replaced Avery Johnson and brought an uptempo brand of basketball from
UF hasn’t given coach Mike White much to shout about this season in regard to solid performances, but things have started looking up.